The New Chinese Shop.

Established in 1952 there isn’t anything new about it. However this really lovely old-world tailor/curio store down Chatham Street is still owned by a second generation Sri Lankan Chinese, Mr Chang, who somehow saw the place through the dark days (15 years worth of dark days) when reaching Fort and Chatham Street was a checkpoint riddled ordeal.

By the skin of his teeth he managed to hold onto his gorgeous colonial building and today, no longer troubled by road closures and Army personnel, just walkout out of the Dutch Hospital’s rear entrance/exit turn left onto Chatham Street and you’re practically at Mr Chang’s doorstep. Step inside and you’ll see Fort as it used to be-polished hardwood cabinets, beautiful antique signage, and shop staff behind the all important display counters. It’s a pure 1950’s shopping experience. This is somewhere my grandmother remembers buying bits and bobs from 50 years ago, I saw their sign and expected to find the place empty and derelict but amazingly it’s alive and almost well…. sorta like finding a living dinosaur.

Nowadays the New Chinese Shop largely sells school uniforms, previously they dealt in general Chinese nick nacks/ ornaments but it was the uniform business that allowed them to survive the war. With the Fort opening up again they plan to stock more handicrafts and casual shopper-friendly items, at the moment they do a handy line of umbrellas. If you want something tailored for cheap and also school uniforms this is a good place to come. Mainly though just drop in if you’re in the area during the day and want so see a piece of living history.

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